Denver is a beautiful city and creating a garden oasis can only add to that beauty. But the conditions for planting aren’t necessarily ideal. Your plants of choice need to be able to survive the hot, high, and dry growing conditions and the less than ideal soil composition.
You’re in luck because some plants not only survive but will thrive in these conditions. Plants making the cut include trees, edibles, shrubs, ferns, and more, but these eight are at the top of the list.
These Plants are Ready to Thrive in Your Garden
This cold-hardy plant is one of the best lavenders to grow in Colorado as it can handle the harsh sun. Not only is it beautiful, but it’s fragrant too. These long bluish-purple flowers have silvery leaves and add a nice touch to any garden when they bloom, which happens mid-summer to early fall. The benefits? It’s drought-tolerant, disease-resistant, and while it will attract butterflies, the deer won’t bother it.
These hardy plants come in rich colors and textures, which make it perfect as a ground cover. Mix and match them to create a full-color palate. Sedum is the perfect plant for Colorado as it can withstand pretty much all the elements here, from poor soil to full sun to freezes. They do prefer to be located in a well-drained area and are very drought tolerant. These succulent beauties come in shades of green, white, yellow, red, pink, and purple, covering a gamut of possibilities for your garden.
Dragon Wing Red Begonia
Blooming from mid-spring to mid-fall, these plants feature glossy pointed leaves that remain green all year long. Their blooms are dainty, orchid-like flowers which add to the beauty of these low-lying plants. While you don’t need to prune this plant, it will give in to pruning if you feel it’s overrunning your garden. Be sure to give this plant some shade from the afternoon sun and moist but well-drained soil for best growth.
Echinacea Cheyenne Spirit
With these vibrant colors, you’ll know summer has arrived. They are sturdy and stand up well to the elements, making them work well in gardens that aren’t watered as much. As a bonus, they have minimal disease or insect issues, and they are excellent at attracting butterflies, which will enhance your garden even more.
Knock Out Shrub Roses
This family of roses is no-fuss. They resist disease and offer up a hardy, colorful flower that, while not very fragrant, will give you the classic feel of a garden that includes roses. They come in a variety of colors and only need to be pruned to keep their shape. These rose bushes are best planted in full sun and require a lot of water at first to get established. These lovely blooms will continue from spring until the first frost.
If you want a bright yellow flower that blooms in mid-spring and is perfect for ground cover, look no further. This plant is durable but not aggressive, prefers full sun, but isn’t particular about the soil or drainage because it is very drought tolerant. It has the added benefit of crowding out your weeds and looks great with a multitude of other plants.
Also known as moss rose, this plant is one that looks great all season. With its flowers coming in a variety of rich colors, this low-growing plant loves the heat of Colorado. It thrives in low water situations and doesn’t require high-end soil. In fact, this is one plant you can almost neglect after you get it going. Unique to this flower is the daytime only blooms, but they do come back each day.
Rocky Mountain Columbine
We couldn’t let the list end without sharing Colorado’s state flower. These beautiful flowers have white and lavender petals with a creamy yellow center. They are highly fragrant and are suitable for attracting butterflies and bees, but you don’t have to worry about deer or rabbits nibbling on them. They love morning sun but need a little bit of shade later in the day and bloom in late spring to early summer. You’ll need to make sure you give them regular watering the more heat they get, but they are a beautiful addition to any garden with their rich state history.
Other Options to Consider
This list isn’t extensive, of course. There are many other options you can choose from that will thrive in your garden. If you don’t enjoy one of the options above, consider a few of these:
- Dwarf Irises
- Geranium Rozanne
- Lupine Gallery Mix
- Pawnee Buttes Sand Cherry
No matter the type of flora you choose, creating a garden you can enjoy throughout the spring and summer – and sometimes all year – is a great way to enhance your surroundings.